Time is relative. Yes, Einstein thought us about it, but it is always of a more value when you learn it from the first hand. People in Argentina are relaxed and the question of starting on specific time is not the most important one. That might be good! They would not be very rigid about the mushroom production technology, which is a perfect attitude when it comes to setting up a low-cost mushroom cultivation.
Think different, look around (with binoculars-you have to reach a 30 km diameter) and try to find a good raw material. So, we certainly haven’t started on the scheduled time. Instead, we drank mate. Imagine all those different thermos bottles, mate cups and packages. A pleasure for eyes. What I have learned immediately is that there are many brands of mate but the best ones are those who put more leaves and fewer stems in a bag! And then we started…
Another lesson – English is not the only language in the world. Forget it in Argentina. Use some Spanish, signs, and a friend that will help you with the translation. Thank you Julien, thank you Max! Soon, I was surrounded by questions and eyes that want to know. What a joy and what a different atmosphere. The situation in the small community of Colonia Caroya showed me that in order to make the difference you have to try to reach a layman. Actually, you need to reach them. Start simple, there is no point of using complicated scientific expressions. Everything starts with a biology, which is in case of fungi a blurred field since our education systems do not pay much attention to this Kingdom.
The questions made a sign map. Just to list some of them:
What is a substrate and what is compost? How to choose which mushrooms species to grow? What kind of materials I can use for the substrate preparation? Do I need high-tech equipment for the mushroom cultivation? Is it possible that I do not have to use chemicals or heat in order to prepare the substrate? Can I make my own mycelium?
But the best was all the comments that followed each answer. Then you can really see the mind on work. What really amazed me was the total absence of the herd effect. Embarrassment, shame-no, they use their head and want to know and to comment.
As an underline there had been two topics that provoked very vivid discussion: substrate sterilization and mycelium production. The answers are simple and are based on mushroom biology: no and no. And Ekofungi lives as it preaches. In order to make a high-quality substrate, we use only clean water that passes through the raw material. We also buy mycelium from a certified producer. We do not use water steam or any chemical in order to sterilize our substrate and we never make our own mycelium. Neither should you!
Ask Argentinians. They have experienced it, right there in the mushroom growing unit in Macadam, in just four weeks. Go and see for yourself…